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Tuesday of Holy Week - Jesuits of North-West Africa Province | Society of Jesus

Tuesday of Holy Week

Is 49: 1-6/ Ps 71: 1-2. 3-4a. 5ab-6ab. 15 and 17/ Jn 13: 21-33. 36-38

By *Mr. Anthony Gyening-Yeboah

When a patient reports to the hospital, the doctor usually asks a number of questions and then performs a series of physical examinations before requesting some laboratory investigations to help make a definitivediagnosis and further aid in adequate treatment of the patient. The questioning and physical examination inform the doctor on the most probable diagnosis and the most appropriate treatment. The doctor has to be observant in order to identify the very signs and symptoms that characterize the particular disease the patient is presenting with and makes other diseases less likely. The doctor has be cautious enough not to follow red herrings, lest he misses the very disease or complications that can cause the death of the patient. Being aware of both the subtle and conspicuous in clinical practice is very crucial to diagnosing and saving the lives of patients.

Similarly, in the gospel reading, Jesus' disciples missed the point when he answered the question – "Who is it, Lord?" The seemingly harmless thought, "Oh, Judas is the treasurer. Jesus is only sending him on an errand" made the disciples miss the point – "It is the one who to whom I give the piece of bread that I dip in the dish." In this season of Lent, the gospel is inviting us to be aware of the subtle and the ordinary things that have the potential of leading us away form our Christian calling; the ordinary moments on social media that that can siphon hours from the day that we forget to pray or forget to serve the needy. It is subtle, and it is ordinary, but we need awareness lest we miss the voice of God.

Jesus had once rebuked Peter for being against His dying and resurrection – "Get away from me, Satan! You are an obstacle in my way, because these thoughts of yours don't come from God, but from human nature." Peter repeated his hindrance when he said to Jesus in today's gospel, "Why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you." Why did Peter miss the point the first time when he was rebuked? What was he focusing on? Was he thinking more of himself than Christ and the will of his Father? Was Peter more self-centered than Christ-centered? Just like Peter we can also miss the goal of our Christian calling if we focus more on vainglory than the humble acceptance of the will of God like Mary, the Mother of God. Our fasting and charity this Lent can become more self-centeredness than Christ-centeredness, if like Peter we become unaware of the conspicuous distractions – vainglory, pride and self-centeredness.

The calling to holiness and perfection invites us to the daily awareness and self-examination. We are invited to understand how both the ordinary and conspicuous could distract us from the voice of God. We are invited to "find God in all in things" even as distractions abound.

*Mr. Anthony Gyening-Yeboah is a Medical Student at University of Cape Coast School of Medical Sciences, Ghana


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